New Suez Canal, economic impact on Mediterranean traffic

Study presented by Srm in cooperation with Certet-Bocconi

30 November, 13:16

    Mideast Egypt Economy Mideast Egypt Economy

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, NOVEMBER 30 - The impact on the maritime traffic in the Mediterranean and the expected repercussions on Italian ports were central themes of the debate during the presentation of the study on the economic repercussion of work doubling the capacity of the Suez Canal at the Italian embassy in Cairo. The study was carried out by Srm (Studi e Ricerche Mezzogiorno, or Studies and Research for the South, a research center connected with the Intesa Sanpaolo group) in cooperation with Certet-Bocconi university within the permanent observatory on maritime transport and logistics.

    Particular attention was dedicated to the possible growth of exchange flows between Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries, given the recent evolution in international policies, while it has been estimated that traffic benefiting from the new canal will concern container ships. Port Said's role thus becomes key where important infrastructural projects announced by the government of Cairo are present.

    Considering the fact that the opening of the new part of the Suez canal has cut down transit time from 18 to 11 hours, the potential impact on the choice of navigation companies can be understood. In particular, it has been estimated to generate average savings of about 5-10% in total operational costs for each carrier (depending on routes and distance) by going through Suez. And the new Suez Canal will represent an important opportunity for Italian ports - through which a total of 460 tons of goods are currently in transit.

    ''The Mediterranean will earn new centrality - said Massimo Deandreis, director of research - because the key point is not increasing traffic towards Gulf areas or those around the Mediterranean, but potentially that the route from Asia to the eastern coast of the United States will move part of its traffic towards the Mediterranean, which will become an area and a route of passage''.

    In other words, ''there will be very few ships departing when they are fully loaded from Shanghai and emptying out completely in New York. Intermediate stops in the Mediterranean will become stopovers to unload, load, work or for maintenance and this will give new centrality to the Mediterranean area and Italy, for its central position, can benefit from this, however investing in the infrastructures of its ports''. (ANSAmed)

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